Review of Comptoir Gascon Duck Burger Classic
What they say:
Comptoir Gascon is a gourmet bistro and delicatessen specialising in food and wine exclusively sourced from the South-West of France.
Le Comptoir Gascon, right beside the Crossrail mega project at Faringdon, and Smithfield market (a very busy area on weekdays) is not a burger joint.
It floated onto my radar courtesy of its Duck Burger Classic. At BurgerLad.com, we’ve done beef, chicken, pork, lamb, game but not, as yet, a duck burger. So, quack bloody quack, here we go.
It’s a small place, specialising mainly in cuisine from the south west of France. There’s some fantastic dishes on the menu, including a squirrel special. The décor is that sort of deconstructed look that seems to be popular right now. Bare brick, concrete floor. You get the idea.
|Outside Comptoir Gascon…|
The beer is served French style, in a stemmed flute, and the napkins are made of cloth. (Paper napkins are probably my least favourite thing in the burger world).
So, the duck burger comes in quite a simple way – spicy tomato relish and onion confit. It’s not described on the menu and I didn’t catch whether or not it includes cheese, but we’ll find out shortly.
It also has a deluxe option, which includes a slab of foie gras for an extra £5. Foie gras isn’t my favourite, so I declined.
Comptoir Gascon’s classic duck burger then. Good moorning.
|What’s on the slate for £9.50…|
When it arrived, I saw the presentation was important. It was served on a piece of slate, which is another pet hate. Less of an issue with a burger perhaps, but the noise of cutlery on slate is horrible. It’s an issue for the dining sector as a whole. The humble plate was invented centuries ago, so why the current obsession with serving stuff on blocks of wood or stone?
Anyway, it was a neat glazed bun of a perfect size to enrobe the contents. The tomato relish on the bottom, and this was the messy part. On top, liberal amounts of lettuce. But not just your usual wilted bits of iceberg or Batavia, there was red in here too. Oh yes, Rene, red lettuce.
|Comptoir Gascon Duck Burger Classic…|
The whole thing was easier on the eye than the portrait of the fallen Madonna with the big boobies, so how about the taste?
Well, Gruber, I can tell you – anyone who has ever had duck in any form knows that it has a distinct taste. A few of the Chinese places in London are very famous for their Cantonese roast duck, but this was something altogether different. It was French! And the Admiral loves French things, we just don’t mention Waterloo.
Getting on with the eating, and absolutely loving the duck taste (forget Ronald, this was Donald), I found myself focussing a little more on the relish than I would have liked. Not by choice.
That requires some explanation. The relish is nice, but it feels ever so slightly overpowering. Duck is quite delicate and the sauce on which it sat was rather sweet. Might work better with a stronger red meat – just my thoughts. And as such, the wonderfully unique flavours of the duck didn’t come through quite as clearly as I should have liked.
|Relish the taste…|
And cheese. Personally I’d have toned down the relish and added a touch of cheese. I’m certainly no expert but I’d perhaps try a raclette or a comte.
By this point, the bottom bun was drenched in the relish and was very messy, causing my fingers to make frequent visits to Monsieur le Napkin.
It was neither too big nor too small. It was utterly unique. I know I’ve labelled plenty burgers “unique” in the past, and am probably guilty of thus watering down the term, but it really does apply here – you’ll quite possibly wait a long time before you find another duck burger, especially a good one like this.
|Our first duck burger review…|
It’s not a great burger – almost entirely due to the sweetness of the relish – but it is a very, very good burger, properly unique and very well worth checking out.